Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Opinions Wanted!

Bula Vinaka!
I'm happy to say that in our short 7 months of living here in Fiji, I've met some of the most fantastic wives/moms/spouses/ladies/girlfriends, and from all parts of the world.
In fact, our kids' school hosts children from over 40 different nations.
That's some serious diversity!

Now that we're (mostly) settled here,  and we have a great group of friends to gather, I'm putting together a book study!

At the moment, I'm trying to choose between two of Jen Hatmaker's books.

I've just read "7", which is honestly one of the best books I've ever read.
It was very timely for me, and from what I hear, it's been very timely for most of my friends.
I haven't touched Interrupted yet, but it's just been released again and I've heard it's also a great read.

For those of you who are avid readers (or Bible-study-goers), which of these two books would you suggest that our little group should dive into as our first read?

Let me know what you think - opinions wanted!

And yes, I supposed I'll have to post a few pics of us chatting over our book as we're poolside or beachside...hee in the islands is rough!

Blessings & Cheers!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Those Crafty Fijian Mamas

Hello my dear craft-loving friends.
This week marks a lovely milestone for women across Fiji, as we celebrate the first National Women’s Expo, here in Suva.

You see, for the first time ever, Suva is hosting a massive Fiji-wide handicraft (all things handmade) fair to celebrate the beautiful talents of the local women of these islands.

Fiji is such a beautiful country, but it still has a long way to go in appreciating its women. 
There are not a lot of opportunities for women living in more rural parts of the country, so an opportunity to showcase and sell their handmade wares is rare and wonderful!

The expat community only heard about this fun event last night.  
Thanks to Facebook, the word got out quickly and we were all there to shop and support these mamas today. 

Here is what they had to offer!

 Color, color, color... I can never get enough of fun colors!

Notice the shy-smiles?
I come from a land that's currently selfie-obsessed, while these ladies were very hesitant to have their picture taken at all.  Sweet humility.

Is this the cutest thing ever?  

I had to remind myself that we will be here for three years, so there was no need to buy every single thing that I instantly loved! 
I did come home with a SaluSalu, which has been on my list since we arrived.
It's meaning is similar to the Hawaiian Lei, but instead of fresh flowers, these are carefully hand-made from coconut trees!
(No, I won't be sporting it daily to the local markets, it's going to be used for home decor!)

I also bought these fun beaded necklaces that are made from recycled materials.
On a green note, Fijian crafts are made almost entirely of natural or recycled goods.  
We don't have access to a Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's or Walmart (go ahead and gasp), so you use whatever you can get your hands on.
It's true creativity!

I’m thrilled that an event such as this is happening here in Fiji.  
With recent emerging concepts such as Noonday Collection and World Vision Micro, our eyes are being opened to ways that we can truly touch the world with our spending choices.
We can be responsible consumers.

Instead of shopping at your local mall, how about spending your cash in a way that directly puts food on someone else’s table? 

That’s buying with a purpose, so I’m all in!

To read more about how your purchase choices can greatly affect wonderful women across the globe, read Jen Hatmaker’s recent blog post, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky”.

As always, thanks so much for tuning into my little glimpse of life. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating Easter. In Fiji!

Yes, it looks like a lot of my blog titles will be something like “___________ in Fiji!”.
At least for a little while.

I’m hoping to get back on the blog regularly now that I've figured out the basics of living here – like what to eat for example! 

I did want to post some fun pics of our first Easter here.  Our household goods just arrived a few weeks ago, so I had to scramble to find all of our Easter décor.  

This was such a big move for us, so I’m trying to make the house seem more like our “home” every day. (instead of taking my typical 6 months to get pictures hung on the walls...)

We've had this Easter tree forever, but this past fall I found these glass ornaments on clearance at Pier One for...66 cents a piece!  I bought a slew of them!

A sweet friend gave us a few craft sets for these egg carton flower bouquets.  My nine year old sweet pea made them all by herself.

Well, a very crafty French friend saw these bouquets and went on and on about how beautiful the colors came out when I dyed the cartons.  I had to break it to her that I did not dye the egg cartons myself.  

This was a boxed set.  Pre-dyed. From Target.  
I had to tell the truth before she asked me to share my technique!

My most favorite décor will always be the treasures that we picked up while living in Germany. 

Whether it's Germany, Texas, Colorado, or Fiji, we always hang our German eggs from the trees!

Germany has the most decadent Easter decor.  Sweet and simple.

If you can’t make it across the pond anytime soon, check out the clearance section at your local World Market.  They had oodles of German Easter décor this year.  (I have a really bad habit of ordering from World Market these days…definitely a weakness).

My favorite pic of the weekend is from our Easter party that we had last week.  Not only had most of the kids never dyed eggs, but they had definitely never heard of Cascarones (confetti eggs)!  

We had a massive fight with these and the kids absolutely loved it.
(thanks to Nana & PopPop for sending them over!)

And just in case you've spent some extra time on our beloved Pinterest, plotting out next years' Easter events, let me save you a little time...
If you saw the pin with the awesome little yarn egg that's made using a balloon, here's how ours turned out...

Ha!  Thankfully my sweet girl wasn't too devastated with the outcome.
She still dug the treat out of the mess and ate it anyway.

That's all for now.  
I have plenty to share about our adventures in Fiji, so stay tuned!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ni Sa Bula! Yep, we're in Fiji!

Hey Friends.  We made it!
After almost a year of planning, plotting and downright (impatiently) waiting, we’re now in Fiji.

Because our last home was Colorado, we’ve had quite the adjustment to the heat and humidity here.
But I’m definitely not complaining!  I’m no fan of cold weather and at this moment, most of the US is getting hammered with cruddy weather right now.  
If you're chilly right now, I feel for ya!

Living on “island time” is a nice adjustment to the crazy schedule-filled lives that most Americans live. (trust me – you’re probably living a crazy schedule-filled life, whether you know it or not!).  

But I do know that there’s a good possibility that island time will get a bit boring for this formerly busy girl!  That’s why my to-do spiral is chock-full of craft projects. (no, that’s not a typo.  I’m old-school and my trusty 50 cent spiral is my rock!)

I want to do this table for the pool patio…

And these lanterns for the backyard…

And maybe this cute skirt?  The ladies here do not wear shorts, so I need some cute skirts like, ASAP!

Getting away from the busy life hopefully means that my creativity will soar once again.
We’ll see!

In the meantime, here’s a few pics of our island time so far….

See you soon!  Poolside?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Anyone out there? Bueller?

Okay, where to start…
It looks like my last blog post was nearly a year ago.  Ouch.

Of all of my hobbies, travel, and work things, there is one thing that I’ve always promised to put first, above everything else (yes, even above a great estate sale), and that’s Family.

Last summer, my husband returned home from another lengthy deployment, and let’s just say that we’ve enjoyed our family time together immensely.

I put off my scheduled trip ‘across the pond’, 
got my littlest one in and out of his first year of kindergarten, 
volunteered as PTO VP, ran our first 5K as a family, 
and finished some much neglected home décor projects. 

And of course, now that I’ve finished some home projects, it’s time for us to MOVE again!

Yes, that’s the BIG announcement.
Are you ready for this?

Yep!  Exciting, right??!!

So right now we're in the midst of our crazy transition.
Colorado to Texas, to DC, to Texas again, then onto FIJI!

As a matter of fact TODAY I'm selling off the remainder of "the shop".

Nope, I can't take it with me.  
It's bitter-sweet!

So, if you’re reading, I’m happy (and shocked) to see you here!

I'll continue blogging about our crazy new life, and of course decorating a house in Fiji!  



Monday, August 20, 2012

Family Camp Adventure

I often keep my blog to writing about the world of vintage and kitsch, but every once in a blue moon I find the need to blog about life in general.

This past week, our family experienced the best vacation of our lives. 

Keep in mind that we used to live overseas, so some of our vacations have included Italy, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.  Those now pale in comparison!
When I asked my husband if it was the best week of his life, he replied, “No, the best week of my life was the week we got married.  This week was just second to that”. 

Good answer.

Today’s entry isn’t to make you envious of our week, but to point out an amazing opportunity for families to truly get away and be restored.  It’s an opportunity we knew nothing of a few months back, so I want to make sure and share it with others!

In April, we received an email via the Army, highlighting a family camp taking place here in Colorado during the summer.  We applied, were placed on a wait list, and in late July were notified that we got a slot.
My husband then went onto the camp’s website to check it out a bit, and within a few minutes shouted, “Babe!  This is a real camp!”.

Yep, Trail West is definitely a real camp.

We knew nothing about it before experiencing it, and we now have memories that will last each of us a lifetime. Evidently, Trail West has been hosting their camps out in Buena Vista, CO for many, many years. 

When we arrived,  we were escorted into camp via horseback Wranglers, there was singing and dancing, shouting and waving, photographers snapping pics, and name tags were slapped on each of us. 
It felt as if we had just walked onto the set of a musical.  

 It was magical!

Our entire week was mapped out with amazing family adventures;  horseback riding, white water rafting, a ropes course, a Jeep tour to a ghost town, family rodeo day, square dancing under the stars…and the list goes on!

Just the Fort would have kept our kids happy for an entire week!

Trail West had a large host of Kid Wranglers – high school and college volunteers who were there to insure that our children had the time of their lives, and so that parents were given adult or alone time throughout the week.  
 I have no idea where they found these Kid Wranglers, but they were amazing.  Full of energy, silliness and lots of love and patience for every munchkin present!
Every meal was planned out, with every dish served family style (with portions unlimited), and the food was delicious.  
No, that’s not a typo - camp food was delicious! 

Now I love to cook, but just escaping the three meals a day drudgery in my own kitchen was a vacation in itself!

One of the volunteers at the camp told me that she and her family spent 14 summers in a row at Trail West. 
14 years?!
Once they got a taste of it, her family never wanted anything else.
No Disney, no beach vacations, just Trail West.

She explained that it was the only vacation they had ever experienced as a family where each family member had an incredible week of adventure, but also left feeling rested and restored.

I couldn’t agree more.

You know what family vacations are typically like.
You spend more money than intended, the kids get crabby, and dirty clothes and attitudes start piling up. Moms are typically completely worn out and ready for a vacation from the vacation!

I can’t lie.  This vacation did have its share of tears.
The kids cried the night before we left, and I cried on the drive home. 
Bittersweet tears because of what we were leaving behind.

We have never experienced a vacation like this, and we hope to create many more adventures and memories at Trail West in our future. 

So, as your summer is winding down and you find yourself editing vacation pics and reminiscing over the summer, put the possibility of a family camp in your future.

It was definitely a game changer in the way we look at vacation time.
And guess what our 7 year old and 5 year old are now saying?
No Disney, no beach, just Trail West!


Here's who we're hanging out with this week.  Join us!

Related Posts with Thumbnails